Posts Tagged ‘Mike Pence’

The Select Committee Peels More Of The Insurrection Onion

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Today, the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack held its fourth Hearing, third in the last week, and, although I thought there wouldn’t be much to learn, I was wrong.

To review what we all know: Donald Trump refused to admit he’d lost the 2020 presidential election. His aides in the White Housed and Justice Department knew he’d lost and tried to tell him so, to no avail. He wouldn’t listen to them. A cabal of Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and John Eastman, fawning sycophants all, fed him lies too numerous to list, all of which he passed on to his Attorney General Bill Barr, which drove Barr absolutely crazy. Barr testified he felt as if he were playing “whack-a-mole.” Sixty-two law suits; none going anywhere. Pressuring state officials, all of whom stood up to him and refused to budge.

So far, as the Republican National Committee tweeted after last week’s Hearing: All. Old. News. (Super patriots them).

But in today’s Hearing we learned the extent of pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to violate the law. And we learned it from members of Pence’s team, insiders close to the VP.

We also learned Dr. John Eastman led the campaign to get Pence to singlehandedly declare Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election, and he was relentless in his efforts.

Eastman wrote the now famous memo enumerating six ways Trump could slide to a second term. His basic argument revolved around the Constitution’s 12th Amendment and the Electoral Counting Act of 1887.

The 12th Amendment reads in part:

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President…

In 1887, in response to the tortured 1876 election where a number of states sent more than one set of electors, congress passed the Electoral Counting Act. The Act aims to minimize congressional involvement in election disputes, instead placing primary responsibility to resolve disputes on the states. If a state follows the “safe harbor” standards laid out by the Act and the state’s governor properly submits one set of electoral votes, the Act asserts this “final determination shall govern.” Since 1887, this is the way it’s been done.

Every four years, on 6 January following a presidential election, the Vice President, as Senate President, ceremonially opens the envelopes from each state, and then the votes are counted. Of course, everyone already knows what the count will reveal, as everyone did on 6 January 2021.

Eastman, time after time after time, pressured Mike Pence’s closest advisors, saying Pence’s ceremonial position was not ceremonial at all. Rather, he had the authority to invalidate a state’s submitted electors and declare Trump the real victor. When the Pence team continually rejected his argument he suggested Pence should recess the congressional event and send everything back to the states, so they could “investigate” their fraud-corrupted elections and determine the proper electors.

None of this worked.

You may be asking, “Why did the Pence team even begin to listen to Dr. Eastman?” They did it because he was representing Donald Trump who thought Eastman correct (well, he would, wouldn’t he?).

So, who is John Eastman?

First, he’s a member in good standing of the Federalist Society, and here’s what the Society says about him:

Dr. John Eastman is the former Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service and former Dean at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law, where he had been a member of the faculty since 1999, specializing in Constitutional Law, Legal History, and Property. He is a founding director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute that he founded in 1999. He has a Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and a B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of Dallas. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of the National Organization for Marriage.

Sounds impressive.

Here are a couple of salient points about the good Dr. Eastman.

From 4 November, right up to the morning of 6 January, Eastman met at least eight times, not including phone calls, with the Vice President’s team led by his Director of Legislative Affairs, John Jacobs who testified today. Throughout their conversations, Jacobs would get Eastman to admit repeatedly he did not believe his own argument. Eastman even went so far as to agree if Pence did as he asked and the Supreme Court were to decide on the matter the vote would be 9-0 against. But still he persisted, and he did so all the way to his speech on the Ellipse just before Trump told the crowd to go to the Capital and “fight like hell.”

Today’s Hearing disclosed just how close the mob came to getting Mike Pence and his family. We learned as the Secret Service was hurry-upping the group to safety in the bowels of the Capital, the Proud Boys were only 40 feet away, the Proud Boys who had decided Pence should be killed. This was new to me.

We all know how it turned out. Pence, to his everlasting credit, the Pence, who had for four years been Trump’s foremost sycophant and who I thought closely resembled a cross between Uriah Heap and a mortician, that Pence, courageously did his job. While Trump was happily watching the insurrection unfold on television, it was Pence who communicated with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley demanding he assemble the forces to quell the coup attempt. Milley, who never heard from Trump, testified Pence was “highly animated.”

At 2:15 on the morning of 7 January, Pence opened the envelopes, and the votes were counted. He then announced Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

And what became of Dr. Eastman, Trump’s leading Svengali?

Shortly after the insurrection, he formally requested Trump pardon him before leaving office.

It never happened. Donald Trump only rewards successful sycophants.